The App Store Turns 5

Apple has always been one of the most important and influential pioneers of mobile tech, and when it hits certain milestones, it loves to throw a party.  It rang in the tenth anniversary of iTunes with a detailed retrospective last April, and a month later shelled out a $10,000 gift card to celebrate the download of its 50 billionth app.

This week Apple is celebrating the 5th birthday of the app store, which has gone from a scant 500 apps when the doors opened to just over 900,000 today.  And to commemorate the event, Apple is giving away some pretty fantastic (and usually expensive) apps for free.

The most expensive of these is Traktor DJ, a professional grade DJ app that has received fantastic reviews and that usually retails for $19.99.  Next up is How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman’s wildly fantastic cookbook that’s been marked down to nothing from $9.99.  Another great app (that retails for $4.99 when it’s not being given away) is Barefoot World Atlas, which lets you and your family travel the world from the comfort of your iPad.  The diary app Day One and the photography app Over are also going for free.

There are also some delicious deals for the gamers out there.  The breathtakingly rendered fantasy RPG Infinity Blade II (normally $6.99) is free this week, as are Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP ($4.99), Badland ($3.99), and the kid-friendly Tiny Wings ($2.99).

Of course, the App Store has had sales before, many of which have provided some really great deals for mobile app consumers.  This, however, is by far the most extensive giveaway in the (admittedly brief) history of the store; never before have such high-priced, high-quality apps been given away for free, and we might very well have to wait another five years before such an opportunity comes around again.

So if you’re reading this, get on over to the App Store as soon as possible and download these gems.  They’re free and they’re fantastic, so there’s really no reason not to.

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